Localisation of the Ki-67 antigen within the nucleolus. Evidence for a fibrillarin-deficient region of the dense fibrillar component

J Cell Sci. 1996 Jun:109 ( Pt 6):1253-63. doi: 10.1242/jcs.109.6.1253.


The Ki-67 antigen is detected in proliferating cells in all phases of the cell division cycle. Throughout most of interphase, the Ki-67 antigen is localised within the nucleous. To learn more about the relationship between the Ki-67 antigen and the nucleolus, we have compared the distribution of Ki-67 antibodies with that of a panel of antibodies reacting with nucleolar components by confocal laser scanning microscopy of normal human dermal fibroblasts in interphase stained in a double indirect immunofluorescence assay. During early G1, the Ki-67 antigen is detected at a large number of discrete foci throughout the nucleoplasm, extending to the nuclear envelope. During S-phase and G2, the antigen is located in the nucleolus. Double indirect immunofluorescence studies have revealed that during early to mid G1 the Ki-67 antigen is associated with reforming nucleoli within discrete domains which are distinct from domains containing two of the major nucleolar antigens fibrillarin and RNA polymerase I. Within mature nucleoli the Ki-67 antigen is absent from regions containing RNA polymerase I and displays only partial co-localisation within domains containing either fibrillarin or B23/nucleophosmin. Following disruption of nucleolar structure, induced by treatment of cells with the drug 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole or with actinomycin D, the Ki-67 antigen translocates to nucleoplasmic foci which are associated with neither fibrillarin nor RNA polymerase I. However, in treated cells the Ki-67 Ag remains associated with, but not co-localised to, regions containing B23/nucleophosmin. Our observations suggest that the Ki-67 antigen associates with a fibrillarin-deficient region of the dense fibrillar component of the nucleolus. Integrity of this region is lost following either nucleolar dispersal or nucleolar segregation.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleolus / immunology*
  • Cell Nucleolus / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleolus / ultrastructure
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Centromere / immunology
  • Centromere / metabolism
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Dactinomycin / pharmacology
  • Dichlororibofuranosylbenzimidazole / pharmacology
  • Fibroblasts / immunology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / ultrastructure
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • G1 Phase
  • Humans
  • Interphase
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Nuclear Proteins / immunology
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Nucleophosmin
  • RNA Polymerase I / metabolism
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Subcellular Fractions / immunology
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism


  • Antigens
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • NPM1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • fibrillarin
  • Nucleophosmin
  • Dactinomycin
  • Dichlororibofuranosylbenzimidazole
  • DNA
  • RNA Polymerase I